run at the box office may have been less than stellar, but the movie has proved to be a life-changing experience for its lead actors.
Bipasha Basu says she is joining hands with director Rahul Dholakia and actor Sanjay Dutt to start an NGO for Kashmiri orphans. “Rahul and Sanjay have already made plans to start an NGO for the children there, mostly orphans. We don’t know the exact details of it yet, but are planning to meet in the next few days to discuss it.”
Speaking at a press conference for Gili jewellery, Basu expressed her desire to host fundraiser events, or just donate a chunk of her earnings to the cause. “As actors, we can either lend our fame to the NGO to help raise funds or donate money ourselves. What these organisations need the most is the money to continue their work,” she insisted.
When contacted, Dholakia expressed his surprise that Basu had revealed their idea, reiterating that plans were still at the drawing board stage. “When Sanju (Dutt) visited the Rahat Manzil orphanage there, he was very touched and decided to start something for the tragedy-striken kids. Most of them have been orphaned by the conflict, among other elements.”
He added that a journalist, Anil Raina, head of the Kashmiri bureau of a Mumbai-based newspaper, was instrumental in helping them. “Anil took us around Kashmir and helped me extensively in my research. I’m sure he will also help us set up our charity,” he added.
Dholakia declined to set an official date for his project, stating, “We don’t want to publicise anything until we are hundred per cent sure of how we are going to do this. Setting up an NGO requires lots of paperwork.”
Bipasha feels blessed
Meanwhile, Basu didn’t miss an opportunity to talk about the situation in Kashmir. “The common man on the street doesn’t think he’s Indian,” she recalled. “I’m not even talking about militants or terrorists. And given the way India and Pakistan have just been playing word games at political meets, I don’t think the situation is ever going to change.”
When asked whether she felt the glamour of Bollywood was shallow, after witnessing the Kashmiri conflict, she replied, “I feel blessed to have this life. I got a chance to see the situation for myself and I realised that Kashmiris live in fear every day. I don’t want anyone to have to grow up that way.”